The Conservatives have published an English manifesto for the first time.
The big headline promises are “English votes for English laws” and “an English rate of income tax”.
Both the SNP and Labour say this is a breach of the Smith Commission agreements on more powers for Scotland signed off by all the major parties a couple of months after the independence referendum last year.
The Conservatives deny they are breaking their promises to Scotland, just delivering a fairer deal for England. Who’s right?
What’s the plan?
The Conservatives want to insert a new stage in the process by which parliament makes laws.
If new legislation only affects England, a “grand committee” of English MPs will effectively get a veto over it.
This will prevent Scottish MPs voting on all kinds of laws that affect England, and it will specifically stop Scottish MPs being able to help decide the rate of income tax south of the border. (more…)